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In this weekly series we have been discussing the benefits of a vegetarian/vegan diet including: better health, public health, food safety, frugal living, animal rights, global food crisis and the immense contribution of meat/livestock production to climate change/resource depletion.
               

Macca's Meatless Monday/Meatless Advocates is a solution oriented activist group, with solutions for some of the most pressing issues of our time including: climate change, global food/water insecurity and public health.  Here we don't just talk about the severity of the crisis; armed with knowledge about how our actions can contribute we become part of the solution.

I was inspired to create this series by former Beatle and vegetarian advocate Paul McCartney(Macca) who partnered with the Meatless Monday campaign to promote less consumption of meat.  We not only discuss the advantages of a less meat diet we also do some cooking, share recipes and listen to great Beatle/McCartney music!

April in Paris. Ooh,la la. I'm missing Paris. and as I'm waiting for solar powered airplanes to become practical it may be a long time before I see Paris again. But, not to worry we can recreate its food, music and wine and enjoy an Earth friendly virtual trip. Here's some Ella to get you in the mood.
             

Now on to some Earth friendly French style food!
       Vegetable antipasti-Marco Polo-Paris
COMPOSED VEGETABLE SALAD

A restaurant meal in Paris is likely to begin with a composed vegetable plate. Each vegetable is prepared separately by either roasting, grilling or steaming and then they are composed with care. It's the perfect beginning to a dinner in a city whose culture combines its food with art.
          A Vegetarian Tour de France: Baked Whole Garlic with French Bread
BAKED GARLIC with FRENCH BREAD
A lovely starter with salade

    4 bulbs garlic, left whole
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon black pepper
    1 French bread loaf, sliced and heated
    1/2 cup butter, I use vegan Earth Balance

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. I use the toaster oven for this unless I have another dish I'm baking at the same temperature.

Trim the tops of the garlic heads, leaving them whole but removing about 1/4 inch. Remove excess dry skins. Rub the heads with a little of the  oil and put in a very small baking dish or crock the size of the four heads.

Drizzle with the rest of the oil , sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover loosely, reduce heat to 275 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover, and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Slice and heat the French bread  in the last 10 minutes of the baking garlic.

To serve: Spread French bread with the butter and squeeze clove by clove onto the bread and spread it.
         A Vegetarian Tour de France: Tempeh au Vin (aka Vegetarian Coq au Vin)
TEMPEH AU VIN
This is an Earth/animal friendly take on the French classic Coq Au Vin it's slow simmered just like the original so takes a good amount of time on stove top. It has a full bottle of wine(like the original!) so also has that same depth of flavor. This is worth the time..so delicious! From Vegetarian Times

2 T olive oil, divided
3 small leeks, white and light green parts cut into 1-inch-thick rounds (1 1/2 cups)
2 small onions, cut into chunks (1 1/2 cups)
1 lb white button mushrooms or use cimini, halved (4 cups)
3 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds
1 8-z pkg. tempeh, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 smoky tempeh strips, such as Lightlife, chopped (1/2 package)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced (1 T)
3 T all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1 bottle medium-bodied red wine, such as Syrah or Beaujolais (Yes, that’s one BOTTLE.)
4 springs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cups spelt berries (optional)

Heat 1 T oil in Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and onions, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally.

Stir in mushrooms, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until mushrooms brown and most of their juice has evaporated, stirring occasionally.

Add carrots, tempeh cubes, smoky tempeh strips, garlic, and flour and stir to coat vegetables with flour. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until Fragrant.

Stir in wine and 3 cups water. Add thyme and bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer 1 1/2 hours, or until carrots are tender and sauce has thickened.

 Meanwhile, cook spelt berries (if using) in 6 cups water 1 1/2 hours, or until soft like rice. Drain. (I actually soaked spelt for 30 minutes before putting it into the water. I soaked the spelt while cutting the vegetables.  Bring water to a boil and cook until tender.)

Remove tempeh mixture from heat, and stir in remaining 1 T oil. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and serve with spelt berries. (Use a slotted spoon to transfer) or serve over rosti (recipe below)
     Rosti
FINES HERBES ROSTI
Fines herbes is a French blend of equal parts chervil, chives, parsley, and tarragon. Here, the combination transforms a simple potato pancake. Great used as a base for stews or vegetables.

    2 large russet potatoes, peeled and grated (1 ½ lb.) or use pre-grated fresh potatoes
    4 tsp. fresh chervil, coarsely chopped
    4 tsp. fresh chives, coarsely chopped
    4 tsp. fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
    4 tsp. fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped
    2 Tbs. olive oil

1. Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of grated potato, then place in bowl, and toss with chervil, chives, parsley, and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

2. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in 9-inch skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Press potato mixture into pan, and cook 10 minutes, or until bottom of rosti is golden brown. Loosen bottom and sides of rosti, then slide onto plate. Add remaining 1 Tbs. oil to pan, flip rosti back into pan (browned side up), and cook 10 to 15 minutes more, or until second side of rosti is golden brown. Loosen rosti, then slide onto serving plate.
       Vegetable tian
ZUCCHINI, YELLOW SQUASH and TOMATO GRATIN
Perfect with the dinner above: a composed ratatouille.

For the onions:

    2 Tbs. olive oil
    1 medium red onion, thinly sliced in circles, then cut in half
    2 cloves garlic, minced

For the gratin:

    3 ripe red tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices, drain off any excess liquid
    3/4 lb. (about 2 small) zucchini or other green summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
    3/4 lb. (about 2 small) yellow summer squash or golden zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
    3 Tbs. olive oil
    2 – 3 Tablespoons Herbs de Provence
    2 Tablespoons basil, freshly chopped
    1 tsp. sea salt
    1-1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesean or use vegan cheese
    Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet or pan. Add onions and cook until limp and browning – about 20 minutes. Stir frequently. (Turn down the heat if the onions cook too quickly.) Add garlic and saute for another 1 or 2 minutes. Spread the onion garlic mixture on the bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle some of the herbs and all the basil on top of the onion mixture.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss zucchini and squash slices with a drizzle of olive oil (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons), 2 Tablespoons herbs de provence, and 1/2 tsp salt.

Beginning at one end of the baking dish, layer the tomatoes overlapping them slightly over the width of the dish. Then sprinkle with a little of the cheese. Then, lay a row of zucchini, overlapping the tomatoes, and sprinkle that row with a little cheese. Add an overlapping row of yellow squash, and sprinkle with the cheese. Then start over with the tomatoes. (I slid the tomatoes a little under the row of yellow squash so things didn’t topple over.)

Keep going with the layers until the pan is filled.

Grind some pepper, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and then drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the top. Put about 3 teaspoons of herbs de provence in the remaining cheese. Stir to combine. Then sprinkle over the top of the entire pan.  Cook until the juices bubble and the top is well-browned – a little more than an hour. Let it cool a little bit before serving.
       Salad Nicoise with Tarragon-Basil Vinaigrette
SALAD NICOISE with TARRAGON BASIL VINAIGRETTE
A lighter classic supper or lunch entree salad.

Tarragon-Basil Vinaigrette:

1 small shallot, finely minced
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp minced fresh tarragon leaves
2 tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup Champagne or good quality white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I prefer my vinaigrette to have a ratio of 2:1 (oil to vinegar, but you may find it too acidic, so just add more olive oil if needed)
2 tsp agave nectar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salad Ingredients:

1 lb organic Yukon gold baby potatoes, sliced and roasted
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for roasting potatoes
1 pt cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 lb slender green beans, trimmed and blanched
1 can or two cups cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup nicoise olives, pitted and sliced
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
3-4 cups chopped romaine lettuce, rinsed and drained
3 cups baby arugula, rinsed and drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  
    Wash potatoes and dry really well on paper towels and slice in half.
    Toss in a large bowl with fresh thyme, rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper and roast for about 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
    Remove from oven and set aside and cool.
    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch green beans for about 2 minutes until crisp-tender.  Drain and immerse in an ice-bath to stop cooking and set color and texture.  Drain and set aside.
    Add all ingredients to a large bowl and dress lightly with the vinaigrette.
    Add salt and pepper if needed and serve garnished with fresh basil leaves.
      Ina's Herbed Baked Eggs
INA GARTEN'S FRENCH HERBED BAKED EGGS
I like this from brunch through dinner with a fresh crisp green salad.

 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
6 extra-large eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toasted French bread or brioche, for serving

Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat.

Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and Parmesan and set aside. Carefully crack 3 eggs into each of 2 small bowls or teacups (you won't be baking them in these) without breaking the yolks. (It's very important to have all the eggs ready to go before you start cooking.)

Place 2 individual gratin dishes on a baking sheet. Place 1 tablespoon of cream and 1/2 tablespoon of butter in each dish and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Quickly, but carefully, pour 3 eggs into each gratin dish and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are almost cooked. (Rotate the baking sheet once if they aren't cooking evenly.) The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven. Allow to set for 60 seconds and serve hot with toasted bread.
         Dairy-Free Lemon Curd Ice Cream
LEMON COCONUT ICE CREAM
Can't speak too highly of this dessert..totally awesome!

-1 can coconut milk (lite is okay but full fat is magnificent!
-1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least an hour
-1/2 cup liquid sweetener of your choice (I use agave)
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/4 cup + 2 tbs. lemon juice
-1 tbs. lemon zest + more for garnish

Combine all ingredients in high speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Garnish with additional lemon zest.

"I Am The Walrus"  The Beatles "climbing up the Eiffel Tower"

"Michelle"    Paul McCartney

What have you all been cooking? Please share your recipes and fave Beatle music here!



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